Texas Legislature votes for transparency in private university police departments

Sen. John Whitmire said he introduced the bill after Rice University denied his request for information about an incident in 2013 where a surveillance video showed two Rice University police officers beating a suspected bicycle thief with batons.

In Texas, access delayed: Public records appeal process invites abuse

Texas law starts with the assumption that a requestor is owed records within 10 days. But asking the attorney general for an opinion stops the clock and can push the agency’s response time back by a month-and-a-half — which makes the process vulnerable to manipulation by an agency seeking to run out the clock on a deadline-sensitive request.

Texas bill would require private college police departments to make records publicly available

Sen. John Whitmire proposed a bill on Jan. 15 to amend the Texas Education Code to require police departments at private colleges to follow the state’s public records law just like other law enforcement agencies. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice, which has not yet set a date for a public hearing.

Baylor U. judicial board issues ‘no-contact order’ to student newspaper

The order disallows “contact with any member of the Court” regarding a recent student case except for procedural and substantive questions. According to the order, newspaper staffers’ violation “may result in the party being held in contempt of court” and referred to the dean for judicial affairs for further proceedings.

Most college police agencies in Texas do not have guidelines for stalking cases, report shows

The study also published survey results of 56 police officers from Texas colleges responding to questions related to their understanding of stalking and official procedures to address it. The answers from respondents — most of them identified as police chiefs — show that seven out of 10 did not have specific guidelines at their institution for dealing with stalking cases, and that few of them work with off-campus organizations that help victims of stalking.

100 copies of student newspaper at Texas Wesleyan U. reported stolen

Kay Colley, student media director, and Paula Justice, The Rambler’s editor-in-chief, noticed the missing copies of the Oct. 8 edition a week later. Two news stands that carry the newspaper — one in the student union and one in the social and natural sciences building — were found empty Wednesday, and a recycling bin near one of the stands was filled with the Oct. 8 edition, Justice said.